2017 The Year That Was
In the beginning of 2017, we sat with a total combined market cap of around USD 18 billion and we were all filled with enthusiasm and optimism. What came however was an endless barrage of naysayers, bubble theorists and LOTS of government and institutional intervention. What we didn’t realise at the time, as we were madly watching the market go up and down like a yoyo, is that the negative connotations were bringing much needed and widespread exposure to the market. A lot of the FUD as it is affectionately deemed in crypto, was the result of a very inexperienced crypto reporting arms and publications. In a race to be first to market with news, there were errors and misinterpretations we are not accustomed to in mainstream media. All of which, saw 2017 become the year where the local butcher and your long-lost Aunt could say they had heard of Bitcoin.
2018 The Fundamental Shift to Mainstream Consciousness
This year however, promises to be a very different year indeed. This year, we enter the cyclical phase of transition from hearing about crypto, to investing. Many new people will become involved and so begins the transition from financial lure to mass understanding of the technological capabilities. With this will also come a community based and decentralized form of accountability for new and existing crypto projects. This is much needed. Crypto will showcase its ability for its investors to hold crypto projects accountable in a fashion our governments have failed to do so.
The industries that will grab the most attention this year and where the blockchain technologies can have the furthest reaching impact will include Artificial Intelligence, Privacy and both decentralized exchanges and platforms.
A few of my favorite coins from these sectors include:
As stated earlier, we move this year towards a greater understanding of blockchain technology and capabilities. We need look no further than KMD for an example of what the future of crypto looks like.
As we know with previous movements and introductions of technology, few survive. KMD boasts arguably the best technology in the space with the security of BTC, the anonymity of the best privacy coins, the proven ability to execute 10’s of thousands of Atomic Swaps, including ERC20 and BCH, the ability to introduce new blockchains through the first dICO set up and most importantly, they have a BarterDex decentralized exchange.
KMD ticks almost all the boxes there is to tick and most people who understand the space have predicted this as one of the biggest movers in 2018. This is one of the very few crypto projects that has the capability of standing the test of time.
With a market cap of USD 630 million and sitting ranked in the mid 40th position in terms of value, this coin will make rapid advances toward the top 10 very soon.
ZCOIN (XZC) and ZENCASH (ZEN)
Both of these privacy coins are truly outstanding projects. In a space where companies set out to capitalize on industry trends, and often end up being nothing more than clones of other projects, these two stand apart as emerging privacy coins.
ZCOIN (XZC) – Has brought to life technology that was written about, but many thought would not be realized anytime soon. They also have a send, mint and repeat process which makes them very different from other coins. When you send Zcoin, the coins are destroyed, and then new coins minted along the way. This erases the history and makes the transactions extremely discretionary.
With a market cap of USD 275 million only, and the recent introduction of masternodes, this coin will skyrocket past some of its higher market capped and more inferior competitors.
ZENCASH (ZEN) – Is a project which truly tries to add value in the space. If you haven’t seen the team, I suggest you spend 5 minutes researching them. This has to be one of the best teams in the space and they are a destined gainer in 2018. With its fair share of setbacks out of the way, a great vision and very engaging community updates, this project does a lot more right, than it does wrong. With a market cap of USD 110 million and the ability to run nodes, this project will fire on all cylinders once the background noise of some of these coins that add no real value have had their 15 minutes of fame.
QASH (QASH) – Qash touts itself as the next ETH or BTC for financial services. Its unique advantage is that it has already been audited by one of the big 4 firms, its staff are all identified and accountable. The company is setting out to fuel the fintech revolution and is already gaining some serious traction. It is regulated in Japan and completely compliant where a lot of its competitors are not. Boasting over USD 12 billion of transactions yearly with a working product and a plan to launch Quoine Liquid officially in Q2, it is not unrealistic to see this as a firmly entrenched top 10 coin. I expect this to be one of the biggest movers this year.
With a current market cap of USD 500 million, its price would have to significantly increase to reach the top 10 and they are well on track to do so.
Key Crypto Risks For 2018
Cryptocurrency is an emerging investment market and with this comes many pitfalls. There will be high scale market manipulation, scams and a lot of ‘Wild West’ antics. It will be a breeding ground of sad stories to rival those of the rags-to-riches tales.
Media outlets in the space have the power to move markets and outcomes and FUD can cause violent swings in prices. Crypto is not for the faint of heart and it is not something that can be invested in with emotion. Each investment you make must come with the unconditional clause that you reserve the right to change your mind about a projects viability at any time. HODLing can be a fast track to wealth and to despair in equal measure.
Personally, I have invested in a few amazing projects that have made life changing money, and I have also been caught up in projects that were nothing more than dubious at best, which cost a lot of money. My advice is that you listen to those who are prepared to recognize both the wins and the losses. There is nobody in the space that gets it right all the time, so ALWAYS do your own research. Nobody puts your money into a project for you, the onus and responsibility for all losses is squarely on the investors shoulders.
Why Do I Invest In Crypto?
For me, being honest, the initial lure was to make money. However, you stay because you believe. This is the most important movement I have been witness to in my life. Decentralisation and disruption are key factors in the technology movement, but what people don’t realise yet is that the established centralized structures we abide by, on a daily basis, are being rapidly eradicated by this movement. We have multi-billion-dollar companies, doing truly revolutionary things, with 10% of the staff in traditional companies, with diversified global workforces that truly share a vision and dream. These people are happy to be a part of this movement and most, as early adopters, have made their money already. They work or volunteer for these projects as a direct result of their belief.
I invest because I believe. I teach others because I want the blockchain movement to be about much more than financial gain and I invest time in the industry advising companies because I want the full potential of what blockchain has to offer, to be fully realized. I want to help bring this to the main stage.
Having been a corporate CEO and C Level executive for the last 15 years, I have gained ability to quickly assess a projects viability. Its not an exact science in a complex and developing industry but it allows me to navigate the often treacherous waters of crypto investment with a slightly higher chance of success.
I am here to challenge the way people think about blockchain technology, and to encourage people to ask the tough questions. Our obligation as thought leaders is to make a lot more people think for themselves.
You can follow me on Twitter @bennydoda01 and also I produce regular YouTube videos relating to the space as Bitcoin Benny.
This post is not financial advice and reflects the personal views of author. The author invests in digital assets and has positions in the aforementioned cryptocurrencies.
Disclaimer: This article should not be used as investment or financial trading advice. Please conduct careful due diligence before investing in any digital asset.